Apostolos Giannou, Jamie Maclaren ready to rival Andrew Nabbout for Australia's striker spot
For a team tipped to struggle for goals, Australia's strikers showed their worth against Palestine in Dubai on Friday.
While Andrew Nabbout has yet to feature in the Socceroos two group matches, both Jamie Maclaren and Apostolos Giannou were on the scoresheet in the 3-0 Asian Cup victory.
With Tomi Juric overlooked by coach Graham Arnold, Martin Boyle ruled out pre-tournament with injury and Mat Leckie still recovering from a torn hamstring, Australia's options up front looked slim heading into the Asian Cup.
Nabbout was expected to lead the line but a groin injury before a 1-0 loss to Jordan meant Arnold had to turn to his alternative options in Maclaren and Cyprus-based Giannou.
Despite drawing a blank in their opening match, Maclaren opened the scoring against Palestine for his first international goal in his 10th appearance for the Socceroos.
Giannou then came off the bench and headed home Australia's third in the 90th minute, a remarkable moment for a man who had only been included in the Socceroos squad at the last minute following Boyle's injury following a pre-tournament friendly against Oman.
It was just the 28-year-old's second goal in seven appearances for the Socceroos and with Nabbout likely to be fit for Tuesday's final group match against Syria, gives Graham Arnold a welcome selection headache.
"It's good. Everyone's fit," Giannou said.
"We have a good selection of players. You need a lot of depth in these competitions to try and win.
"I'm feeling positive and I'm happy for Jamie to be scoring as well."
Australia head into their final group game knowing a draw will be enough for them to secure second-place with Jordan having already claimed top spot.
Syria have to win to have any chance of progressing after a goalless draw with Palestine and a 2-0 loss to the Jordanians.
Giannou said he was hopeful that situation may mean more space for Australia's strikers as Syria push for victory.
"I'm hoping because that would make our game much easier," Giannou said. "I think we can exploit their weaknesses much better like that."